The proposed 2018 Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C) caching rover would be a NASA-built mid-class rover that would be the first component in a Mars sample return campaign strategy. NASA is projecting to launch the proposed MAX-C rover with the European Space Agency's (ESA's) ExoMars mission on a U.S.-provided launch vehicle in mid 2018; the entry, descent, and landing systems would use the "Sky Crane" approach developed for Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) to land a pallet with both rovers secured onboard onto the surface of Mars. After the rovers egress from the pallet, there would be a period of checkout for both rovers. MAX-C would be designed to operate on the surface of Mars for 500 sols. The MAX-C rover suite of science instruments would be used to identify and target potential rock samples and a sample handling, encapsulation and caching system to obtain and preserve samples for eventual return to Earth by a potential future Mars Sample Return mission.